Cool Ideas for Making Coffee Tables


Usually resting in the center of a living room or as a focal point in a den, a coffee table is a functional piece of furniture that can express something about the owner’s personality and individuality. Making your own coffee table allows you to step away from the basic wood rectangle and create a cool expression of your style. With your imagination as your only limitation, a cool coffee table is a weekend project that you can enjoy for years to come.

Rustic Door

  • Whether your home décor is shabby-chic or urban-chic, an architecturally interesting old door will fit right in and serve stylishly as your new coffee table. Purchase or scavenge a vintage, antique or distressed door and sand off any loose paint or sharp surfaces. Screw in some stained-to-match table legs from your home improvement store. A custom-cut piece of glass will make a smooth surface for coffee cups and magazines while still allowing viewers to enjoy the details and colors on the door. When you accessorize with other rustic wood items, your table fits right in and gives your whole room a warm and inviting look.

Aquarium or Terrarium Table

  • An aquarium or terrarium coffee table is relatively easy to put together and will give you a totally custom look. A living sculpture that can easily be changed or rearranged, when you fill the aquarium with fish or plants you create a focal point in the room that guests will not be able to resist. Although you can purchase an aquarium coffee table set up, you can also put one together for little money by purchasing a used aquarium and discount glass. The time and effort you put into decorating and filling your container with plants or fish is creative time well spent. Consider the amount of natural lighting the area gets and supplement with electric light fixtures if necessary.

Rusted Pottery

  • An organic approach to the coffee table problem, terra cotta pots and a couple of panes of glass will get you started on this cool project. Apply a faux rust compound to large, round terra cotta pots you get from your home improvement or gardening store. The height of the pots will be within an inch or two of your completed coffee table height, so measure them before you buy. Once your new clay pots are aged to perfection with the simple two-step rusting solution you get from a craft store, seal them with a clear spray sealant. Place one rectangular sheet of glass or Plexiglas on the floor cut to the table-size you desire. Arrange the pots on the glass and place upside down (the mouth of the pot to the floor) as desired. You can place them in a neat row, or stagger them for a longer table. Top off with the second matching piece of glass to complete your custom coffee table.

Cast Iron Cast Off

  • An old cast- iron tub makes for a functional conversation piece in your living room or den. Although bulky and heavy, a cast iron tub complete with sculpted feet, rusty sides and chipped interior provides an interesting curve for which to balance a clear Plexiglas tabletop. Perfect for a sunroom or garden room, a cast-iron tub coffee table will leave your guests envious of your creativity.


  • As just about anything that can hold a piece of glass can be a coffee table, there is no reason for your antique pedal car to be gathering dust in the basement. The perfect size and shape, antique pedal cars such as a firefighter's car from the 1960s or a Chevy pedal car from the late 1950s can be fitted with a piece of glass to make an eye-catching coffee table for any eclectic space. Adapt the vehicle so that the glass rests flat and level by placing small felt or rubber spacers along the low points of the toy and then enjoy the compliments.

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  • Photo Credit breakfast and coffee on the table image by dinostock from old lock in old door image by Allen Penton from aquarium fish 8 image by cherie from terra cotta abstract image by Mark Grenier from baignoire image by Alice Becet from
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